Draft Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy

Closed 20 Nov 2022

Opened 18 Oct 2022

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We’re updating our plans for where, when and how Hamilton Kirikiriroa grows to enable more homes and jobs. This is called the Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy and we want to know what you think. 

Why are we doing this?

The Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy was last updated in 2009. That Strategy set Rototuna as the primary greenfield growth area and the 50/50 infill to greenfield target ratio and we have achieved this goal. 

But since the last Strategy was adopted, a lot has changed. In the last 10 years, the city has grown by:

  • 33,000 people
  • 11,000 homes
  • 3000 businesses.

Half of Hamilton’s growth has occurred in existing urban areas (infill), with the other half occurring in new areas on the periphery of the city (greenfield). The greenfield growth has primarily been in Rototuna with the infill growth spread across the city. 

Our city now has approximately 60,000 homes, housing around 180,000 Hamiltonians. We expect that over the next 50 years these numbers will double to around 120,000 homes for about 310,000 people.

Our focus has also shifted. We have a renewed focus on the social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of our city. We have obligations to protect and enhance the Waikato River and climate change challenges that have influenced a shift to support more transport choices. 

Central government has also set out new requirements for cities to grow up as well as out through the National Policy Statement on Urban Development 2020 (NPS-UD) and Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2021.

With all these changes, the growth that’s happened, expected to happen and the growth pattern that’s been mandated, an update of our Strategy is needed to guide how the city grows.

                          We want your feedback on the draft Strategy.

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Why your views matter

What are we proposing?

The revised Strategy sets out how we’re responding to these changes and our approach to managing our city’s growth for the next 50 years. It will help us deliver well-functioning communities and deliver on our responsibilities under the National Policy Statement - Urban Development, Urban Growth Agenda and the Hamilton-Waikato Metropolitan Spatial Plan (MSP). It will guide where, when and how Hamilton Kirikiriroa grows to enable more homes and jobs.

The draft Strategy proposes three outcomes to achieve our vision that Hamilton Kirikiriroa is the best place to live and work with connected, vibrant and prosperous communities.

The three outcomes, in priority order, are:

1.    Grow up and out from the central city
Currently, about half of the city’s growth occurs in greenfield developments. The goal in the long term is to shift this dial to achieve 70% of growth through intensification development in existing areas. Higher-density housing is focused around the central city and walkable catchment, which is a key employment area. While the remainder of the city will also be more enabling of a greater range of house types and building heights.

What does that mean?
Intensification: means more people living and working closer together. It also means more homes at greater heights, a mix of housing types and a focus on townhouses and apartments.
Greenfield: development (industrial, commercial, residential, or a mix of these) on a piece of previously undeveloped land, which had generally previously been rural, like a farm.

2.    Grow along transport corridors
The viability of transport corridors relies on more people living along them, as well as living near the central city in higher-density developments. High-quality outcomes can be achieved by delivering growth opportunities along prioritised transport corridors, enabling access to commercial and industrial land, and providing a mix of uses so people can meet most of their daily needs close to their homes.

3.    Support the development of quality greenfield neighbourhoods
We also need to enable greenfield neighbourhoods in areas that provide great outcomes for their future communities and the city. We will follow through on existing development commitments, taking a partnership approach to funding these areas. It ensures those who benefit from growth pay for growth.

What about growth areas that aren't part of the city?
For any new land to be brought into Hamilton's boundary, it must meet a set of out-of-boundary principles.  This criteria is designed to make sure any out-of-boundary development enhances the overall wellbeing of current and future Hamiltonians and creates a quality community.

Tell us your thoughts

Before making any final decisions, we want to know what you think. Make sure you’ve read the draft Strategy, then give us your feedback by 20 November 2022.